By Stelios Orphanides
RCB Bank said Monday it recorded a net profit of €97.2m in 2017, up 19 per cent from 2016, on increased non-interest income and domestic operations and improved efficiency.
RCB, one of the island’s four systemic banks supervised by the ECB, said its non-interest income last year rose to €35.6m, from €23.4m in 2016.
“RCB continued its successful expansion in the local market as the key pillar of its strategy,” the bank said. “Two new branches were successfully launched in Paphos and Larnaca during 2017. A 41 per cent increase was demonstrated in its local client base and a remarkable growth in the volume of deposits and lending that the bank disbursed to Cypriot businesses”.
Last year, RCB’s net interest income fell to €218.4m, from €228.1m the year before, the bank said. Loan impairment charges rose to €39.3m, from €11.6m. The bank’s administrative and operating expenses fell to €101m, from €142.8m.
The bank’s common equity tier 1 ratio at the end of December was 20.1 per cent, down from 20.8 per cent in December 2016, it said. Its capital adequacy ratio was 21.2 per cent compared to 23.1 per cent in 2016.
In its annual report, the bank said its non-performing loans stood at 0.2 per cent of total gross loans at the end of last year, down from 0.8 per cent the year before.
By comparison, the non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking system, estimated at around €22bn, account for almost half of the total loans and are deemed a major risk for financial and economic stability.
“The operational efficiency together with the conservative and effective management of the credit risks allowed to build up a solid capital base and the necessary reserves while remaining profitable,” the bank said adding that it “has all the necessary financial reserves and capital to facilitate its further business development in Cyprus”.
RCB’s total loans fell at the end of last year to €6.9bn, from €7.1bn in 2016 while its customer deposits rose from €2.7bn, to €3bn, it said. Deposits from other banks rose last year to €5.3bn, from €5.2bn the year before.